"The Hitman's Bodyguard" stars Ryan Reynolds as a bodyguard who is tasked in protecting a hitman with whom he has a past with. Said hitman is played by Samuel L. Jackson and now the two of them embark on a journey so that Jackson can testify against a Russian dictator in exchange for his wife being released from prison.
Starting off with a positive for this movie, it's ultimately the one and only positive that everyone will be in unanimous praise of. It's the chemistry between Reynolds and Jackson that drives this movie and makes it more entertaining than it deserves to be. I'll just go ahead and say that I didn't enjoy this movie very much, but I could at least be slightly entertained with the banter between these two actors. Granted, they're both basically playing themselves in that Reynolds is kind of the smartass and Jackson screams and yells "MOTHAFUCKA!" a lot, but it was still one of the parts in this film that I found to be the least bit bearable.
Two other performances in this movie that I'm not as positive on are those of Gary Oldman as the Russian dictator and Salma Hayek as the hitman's wife in prison. Oldman is hamming it up in an over-the-top villain performance, but the actual character felt like he didn't belong in the movie. The movie itself is uneven, but Oldman's character just felt completely out of place with his overdone "Look at me, I'm the bad guy" portrayal. And for Salma Hayek, she has literally nothing to do other than sitting in a prison cell and cussing for the sake of cussing. Her character just gets more annoying the more you see her and it really felt like the director didn't have any material written for her, so he just told her to cuss nonstop.
The movie's biggest problem is that it's completely unfocused. Rather than it be a simple story of Ryan Reynolds escorting and protecting Samuel L. Jackson, it tries to juggle that main plot along with romantic subplots for both of the main characters. Elodie Yung plays the ex-girlfriend of Ryan Reynolds and you know exactly how that's going to play out. A lot of annoying banter that takes away from the story at hand, along with several twists and turns in the plot as it progresses. This entire movie is an unnecessarily convoluted juggling act of many side stories that simply don't need to exist. Just make it about the bodyguard protecting the hitman and leave it at that. No unnecessary twists, no romance subplots, just stop it.
In terms of simply being a fun action romp, this movie is a mixed bag. For every one entertaining action scene, it's followed by one that's shoddy in term of film-making. What that means is that there are some action sequences where they're mostly a close-up of an actors face while stuff goes on in the background and it's clearly meant to distract the audience from the horribly obvious green screen effects. Some of the action in this movie is perfectly serviceable, but then there's that one action scene that takes you out of the experience due to the dated effects and an obvious attempt to hide them from the audience.
Overall, "The Hitman's Bodyguard" is a movie that will entertain most people in some parts, what with the chemistry between the two leads and some OK action, but it doesn't go beyond that. I thought it suffered from a few superfluous subplots as well as just not living up to its fun premise that should work as a perfectly enjoyably spoof of 1992's "The Bodyguard". I can only recommend this movie to anyone who'll feel instantly satisfied by the sight of Samuel L. Jackson cursing at Ryan Reynolds nonstop, but there's not much to it out outside of that.